The last six months have seen many changes here at Yumblog Towers. Saturday nights are no longer a time of cage fighting (for her) or pole dancing (for him) but instead spent indoors looking after our increasingly fidgety but exponentially lovely offspring. Although compensation is not necessary, we do like to remunerate our parental devotion with a slap-up Saturday evening feed. This porcini fondue was one such.
Preparation time: 5 minutes plus 15 minutes mushroom soaking
Cooking time: 25 minutes
Skill level: easy
For the fondue
- dried porcini mushrooms – soaked in 375ml of hot water for 15 minutes – 40g
- 1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
- cornflour – 1½ tsp
- kirsch – 30 ml
- sauvignon blanc or other dry white wine – 220ml
- Gruyère – coarsely grated – 165g
- Emmenthal – coarsely grated – 165g
- ciabatta or other good rustic bread – cut into 2½ cm cubes
- baby new potatoes – boiled and halved – 500g
- pickled silverskin onions and small cocktail gherkins
Drain the soaked mushrooms through a sieve placed over a bowl – reserving the liquid.
Finely chop the mushrooms.
Heat the mushroom water in a frying pan, add the chopped mushrooms and garlic and simmer over medium heat for 7-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Season to taste with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Combine cornflour and kirsch in a bowl and stir until dissolved.
Pour the wine into your fondue pot and bring to a simmer.
Add the cheeses and stir continuously until melted.
Stir in the cornstarch mixture and cook for 2 minutes or until fondue thickens slightly and begins to bubble.
Stir in the porcini mushrooms and season to taste.
Take to the dining table.
Dip your bread and potatoes into fondue and eat accompanied with the pickled silverskin onions and cocktail gherkins.
Verdict: Struth this is good. Particularly enjoyed the melted cheese/onion/gherkin raclette-style combo. A rich cheesy, mushroomy overload, guaranteed to give cheese-induced night sweats.
Drink: Finished the opened white and followed up with an unopened red. Resisted polishing off the Kirsch.
Entertainment: Episode 1 of Carl Sagan’s ‘Cosmos: A Personal Voyage’. A poetical work of genius which apart from the polo-neck jumpers, has barely dated in 30 years.
‘Up there in the immensity of the Cosmos, an inescapable perception awaits us. National boundaries are not evident when we view the Earth from space. Fanatical ethnic, religious or national chauvinisms are a little difficult to maintain when we see our planet as a fragile blue crescent fading to become an inconspicuous point of light against the bastion and citadel of the stars’.